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The Roundup—Mitchell scores 33, leads Jazz past Lakers

by Matt Payne

In a game played under the shadow of both teams' injury issues, the Utah Jazz took a big first-half lead and then cruised to a 113-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz took the floor without all three of the point guards on their roster—Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Danté Exum (ankle) and Raul Neto (foot) were all out—while the Lakers were missing four-time MVP LeBron James (groin) for the eighth straight game.

Donovan Mitchell led the way for the Jazz with 33 points and nine assists as the team's de facto starting point guard.

"Donovan made attacking plays," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after the game. "Sometimes he was the one to score. Sometimes he passed it. Sometimes he missed and we got the rebound. He was ready to go tonight."

Joe Ingles notched his first double-double of the season with 14 points, 12 rebounds (a new career high), four assists and one steal.

Rudy Gobert (12 points, 18 rebounds, two steals, two blocks) and Derrick Favors (15 points, 13 rebounds) also double-doubled, while Royce O'Neale shot 5-for-12 from 3-point range for a season-high 17 points.

The Jazz (22-21) have won four of their last five games and are now above .500 for the first time since November 12.

Michael Beasley came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points for the Lakers (23-20). Brandon Ingram scored 15 points (13 in the first half), while Kyle Kuzma, who was coming off a 41-point game against Detroit on Wednesday, finished with 11 points on 4-for-18 shooting.

The Lakers are 2-6 without James.

Friday's Best

Mitchell continued his stellar play, scoring at least 26 points for the fourth straight game—and exactly 33 for the second straight game. Over that stretch, he's averaging 29.5 points on 53.3 percent shooting. Mitchell shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range, and he added four rebounds, nine assists, one steal and two blocks in 33 minutes.

Key Stretches

O'Neale, who started in place of Rubio/Exum/Neto, found himself all alone on the wing twice in the first two minutes, and he knocked down consecutive threes to open Utah's scoring. Gobert tipped in a miss on Utah's next possession to force a Los Angeles timeout. After the break, three straight buckets by Mitchell put Utah up 15-5.

The Jazz went on a 14-5 run to take a 14-point lead midway through the second quarter, and then Mitchell took over, sparking a 7-1 run when he slammed home a one-handed dunk right on top of JaVale McGee. He then rose up and and blocked a layup attempt by Kuzma, which led to a dunk by Gobert—who was cherry-picking on the play. After another Lakers miss, he led the break and found Ingles in the corner for a three to put Utah up by 20 with 1:59 left in the first half. The crowd approved of this sequence.

The Lakers, though, rallied and cut the margin down to 10 near the end of the third quarter. Utah closed the period on a 7-2 run and then pushed their lead to 17 within the first three minutes of the final period. Kyle Korver knocked down a three and then, after a Lakers timeout, Mitchell re-entered the game and immediately hit a 3-pointer of his own to push the lead back to 20. Utah cruised from there.

Significant Stats

65

The Jazz hit the boards with fervor, finishing with 65 rebounds (to Los Angeles' 55). Utah grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and turned those into 19 second-chance points. Gobert (18), Favors (13), Ingles (12) all grabbed double-digit rebounds, while Jae Crowder snagged eight and O'Neale had seven.

9-0

Mitchell shot 14-for-24 (58.3 percent) from the field and finished with nine assists. The Jazz are now 9-0 this season when he shoots at least 44 percent and dishes at least five assists.

35.9

The Jazz didn't shoot the ball well (39.6 percent), but they also held the Lakers to only 35.9 percent shooting—and only 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) from 3-point range. Kuzma (4-for-18) and Ball (3-for-13) combined to shoot 22.6 percent.

Coach's Quote of the Night

"If you're open, be ready to shoot. Take your shot. Shoot with confidence."

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Notable

Favors moved past Greg Ostertag into fourth place on the franchise's all-time rebounds list. ... Los Angeles' Josh Hart, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, picked up a flagrant 1 foul in the third period. ... Crowder, who had shot only 2 for his last 20 from 3-point range, finally got one to fall midway through the fourth quarter. Crowder finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting. ... The Jazz blocked nine shots and grabbed nine steals. ... The Lakers outscored the Jazz 56-44 in the paint. ... Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring) and Grayson Allen (ankle) remained out for Utah.

Up Next

The Jazz will stay at home for the second half of their back-to-back set against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 8pm MT.

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